OVERVIEW OF THE LIBRARY OF TEXAS PROJECT
(April 2000 - August 2003)
Texas State Library staff continue to receive training on videoconferencing and web-based learning tools and continue to develop training events for both mediums.
LIBRARY TRAINING COMPONENT
Goals of the Librarian Training Component - The goal of the Library of Texas Project training component is to provide a blended approach to training that includes as many opportunities for continuing education for as many people as possible. This blended approach to training will include:
1) on-site lecture/demonstration
2) in-person hands-on training
3) in-person train-the-trainer workshops
4) interactive videoconferencing
5) web-based training and tutorials
The Library of Texas Project training component will benefit not only librarians, but also records managers and staff from local and state agencies, other state agency personnel, and the general public. Using this technology, TSLAC and the Systems will have the ability to reach large numbers of people, either individually or in groups, and to provide training at the time it is needed. This will help eliminate the restrictions placed on TSLAC staff travel to provide on-site training for only a handful of people and provide access to both TSLAC- and System-developed training to anyone with a Web browser, VCR or CD-ROM drive.
Project Overview - The Library of Texas Project training component includes two aspects of distance education: interactive videoconferencing and web-based learning.
INTERACTIVE VIDEOCONFERENCING: TSLAC will install a duplex (two-way or send-and-receive) videoconferencing (VC) system in its main building that will allow the agency to originate training events and broadcast them to up to 16 remote sites. The most useful sites for the remote videoconferencing systems were determined to be regional System offices and/or larger public libraries. Library Development staff will use the VC system to present workshops for library staff. State and Local Records training staff will use it to broadcast records retention training for local governments around the state. In addition to providing live broadcasts, the PC-based videoconferencing system also will allow TSLAC to record training sessions and make them available for viewing on videotape. This will allow TSLAC to reach a large number of people and to provide on-demand training at both the individual and group levels. In addition to providing training, the videoconferencing systems will allow TSLAC, System and library staff around the state to conduct meetings and discussions.
WEB-BASED LEARNING SOFTWARE: The second part of the Library of Texas Project training component will provide web-based learning software that will allow TSLAC to develop and present instruction over the Web. Levels of instruction will range from self-paced tutorials to fully interactive courses that include video, audio and text-based interaction (e.g., chat or bulletin board discussions, as well as live classroom interaction for those without the audio capability). The web-based learning software will offer the capability to record and archive the web-based learning courses and make them available on-demand to individual learners via the Web, or via CD-ROM for those without Internet access.
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January-August 2003 - After receiving training on both the videoconferencing and web-based learning tools, TSLAC and System staff will begin developing training events for both mediums
February 2003 - Installation of videoconferencing equipment was completed in November 2002 for Houston Public Library and Brownsville Public Library. Installation was completed in December 2002 for El Paso Public Library and Abilene Public Library. Installation was completed in January 2003 for San Antonio Public Library, Euless Public Library, Amarillo Public Library and Lubbock Public Library. Orientation sessions were provided for all libraries listed above with the exception of Euless Public Library. Orientation for Euless Public Library is scheduled for mid-February 2003. Installation of videoconferencing equipment is scheduled for Nicholson Memorial Library in Garland in March 2003. Texas State Library and Archives Commission staff is scheduling a two-hour end-user training session in late March to be delivered by VTEL to all remote sites via the videoconferencing network. TSLAC is also scheduling a day-long technical training session for remote videoconferencing technical contacts at the eleven remote videoconferencing sites. This training will be delivered from VTEL's headquarters in Austin, and allows each contact at each site to become familiar with the technical side of the equipment which has been placed at their library. This training session will likely occur in early April. Go to the Continuing Education Web page to see a listing of training opportunities.
November 2002 - Installation of video teleconferencing equipment and software has been completed at the Faulk Central Library of Austin Public Library (APL). An orientation session is scheduled for November 13, 2002 at APL. Equipment has been installed at the Corpus Christi Public Library with telecommunications capability coming soon. Installation is scheduled for November for Houston Public Library and Brownsville Public Library. Installation is scheduled for December for El Paso Public Library and Abilene Public Library. This two-way video conferencing system will allow the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to originate training events and broadcast them to up to 16 remote sites.
October 2002 - Technology Inventory and Assessment Study conducted by Dr. William E. Moen, Dr. Kathleen R. Murray, and the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge, University of North Texas. The study employed a 75-question survey instrument to measure the technology capabilities of academic and public libraries that are members of TexShare. Links to the Executive Summary: PDF format, MS Word format. Links to entire study: PDF format, MS Word format.
October 2002 - LIBRARY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION (LITA)
August-December 2002 - TSLAC and System staff receive vendor (VTEL, IBM Learning Space) and in-depth training on VC systems and WBL software. TSLAC and System staff receive vendor (VTEL, IBM Learning Space) and in-depth training on VC systems and WBL software.
July-August 2002 - VC systems shipped to remote sites and installed by IRT staff. WBL software received and installed by IRT staff. Technology Consultant and Distance Learning Consultant receive VTEL technical training. A new e-mail list service is established to inform librarians of new Continuing Education training opportunities provided by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. To subscribe to the list, please view the Texas State Library mailing list Web page at http://lists.tsl.state.tx.us/mailman/listinfo. For additional help, please contact email@example.com. Future training opportunities will incorporate the two distance learning components of the Library of Texas Project: the Web based learning software component and the interactive videoconferencing component.
June 2002 Remote VC sites finalized; MOUs signed and returned.
April 2002 - LD Division Director begins to receive phone responses from MRC directors.
IRT staff receive training on Cisco routers, VTEL VC equipment. WBL servers and equipment received in IRT. Videoconferencing units have been ordered and await implementation, contingent on formal acceptance by MRC directors. Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) are being finalized and will be mailed for signatures in May to MRC directors who verbally accept the VC systems. WBL contract is being finalized.
January 2002 - TIF board requests revised budget for entire LoT project. Systems Analyst and Network Support Specialist work with LD/CEC staff to revise training component budget February 2002. IRT staff begin revising VC system specifications March 2002. VC system specifications revised and approved by IRT staff. Director of Administrative Services begins developing contract for WBL software vendor vInformation letters re: VC systems mailed to MRC directors.
December 2001 - Systems Analyst and Network Support Specialist develop detailed budget and purchase requisitions for VC system.
November 2001 - WBL software bids received from vendors; reviewed by LD/CEC staff and Systems Analyst. Bids analyzed by IRT staff; recommendation made for IBM Learning Space software vendor based on overall cost and ability to meet RFP specifications.
October 2001 - Systems Analyst develops specifications for VC system RFP for WBL software completed.
September 2001 - Planning Committee recommends VTEL videoconferencing product to agency administration. Systems Analysis reports preliminary VC system cost and cost benefit analysis vAgency administration approves choice of VC product and development of RFP for web-based learning software specifications. LD/CEC staff and Systems Analyst begin developing RFP for web-based learning software specifications.
August 2001 - IRT staff recommend T-1 telecommunications technology-rather than ISDN technology-as more cost effective and create timeline for project tasks and completion. Southwestern Bell Communications (SBC) determined to be sole vendor for state videoconferencing contracts. Planning Committee previews and evaluates three videoconferencing systems: Polycom, PictureTel (company since bought out by Polycom) and VTEL.
July 2001 - LD/CEC staff meets with staff of the agency's Information Resources Technologies (IRT) division to determine telecommunications needs and costs. Planning Committee including staff of LD/CEC, IRT and SLRM formed to:
1) review and make recommendations for VC systems
2) discuss the logistics of establishing a central VC system
3) determine telecommunications needs and costs
4) make recommendations on the above to TSLAC administration
Telecommunications costs initially investigated through state channels (General Services Commission, TEXAN). Revised budget for entire LoT project submitted to TIF board
June 2001 - LD/CEC technology consultant and LD/CEC distance learning consultant begin gathering information on VC and WBL costs and components for revised budget.
May 2001 - TSLAC receives word from TIF board that funding for the LoT project is approved. TIF board requests a revised proposal and budget for the entire LoT project, due July 2001.
April 2000 - Library of Texas (LoT) training component first proposed by (then) manager of the Continuing Education and Consulting department of the Library Development (LD) division. Original proposal submitted to the TIF board by (then) director of the Library Resource Sharing (LRS) division. Original proposal provided for five VC systems to be installed in the regional System offices each year over a two-year period. Original proposal did not include a provision for Web-based learning (WBL) software.
Advisory Group Roster
Click here for the TexShare Education Group Roster
A listing of training opportunities are on Continuing Education Web page. Please check these links regularly for training schedules.
Training will enable librarians to discover the full potential of the Resource Discovery Service (now called Library of Texas), the Electronic Depository and the Electronic Databases components of the Library of Texas Project. Librarians will be needed more than ever before to help navigate through new choices, technologies, and avenues of information. Ongoing regular continuing education training empowers librarians to fully realize the potential of the Library of Texas, and enables them to fulfill the information needs of Texans.